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The Galibier Sentinel blurs the lines on what defines a jacket and jersey thanks to its mixture of weatherproofing, lightweight race styling and short sleeves. It's not a new concept, but one that Galibier has executed very well indeed, and at a relatively bargain price.
Technically, the Sentinel is a jersey according to Galibier, and it's designed to work with just a baselayer, within an outdoor temperature range of 7-16°C.
It's been difficult to test the upper end of that range, what with it being the middle of winter, but I'd say that is a fair assumption of what's suitable. I've worn it on days when the temperature has got up to 13°C and been comfortable, only getting a bit over-warm when pushing on the hills.
At the other end I was fine down to about 5°C with just a summer baselayer underneath and a pair of arm warmers before I could start to feel a bit of a chill.
The Sentinel is for riding in foul weather, or at least when the chances are that those conditions might turn up at some point in your journey. It's a triple-layer jersey, with a laminate membrane sandwiched between the inner and outer layers.
For added protection from the rain it uses a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, but rather than it being applied at the end of manufacturing, the fabric is treated before production starts, which makes it longer lasting according to Galibier.
The Sentinel isn't claimed to be fully waterproof. The material itself works very well against the rain, keeping the worst of a downpour out for 45 minutes to an hour or so, but because of the stretchy nature of the jersey Galibier hasn't been able to tape the seams, so you do get a bit of seepage.
At least you stay warm though. The windproofing is impressive. The final couple of weeks saw a mostly northerly wind blowing through and temperatures hovering just above freezing throughout the day. The Sentinel blocked it all, with no cold air getting through to my chest or upper arms.
When trying to keep elements like the wind and rain out, it can often mean that getting heat vapour expelled into the atmosphere becomes tricky, causing a 'boil in the bag' kind of effect. Galibier has got around that by using Lycra panels for the sides and underarms.
Not only does this allow some give in the garment, but the thinner sections let body heat escape, stopping the Sentinel getting overwhelmed. It's a good compromise.
When it comes to the fit, the Sentinel is performance orientated, so it's cut close. The main outer fabric used in the jersey isn't quite as elastic as a standard Lycra jersey so it's worth taking a close look at Galibier's comprehensive size guide to get it right.
We were sent a medium to test, and while it fitted fine, I am right on the upper edge of the range for it; if that happens, Galibier recommends going up a size. If I was buying one for myself this would definitely make sense as it would give me just a little bit more room around the chest for a touch more comfort.
The shape is great, though, with a dropped tail for coverage and a front that is short enough to not see any bunching of the material.
The high neck does a great job of keeping the elements out, and the way it is cut at the back means it sits in close to your skin. I would like to see a zip garage, though, if I'm being really picky.
Round the back you have three deep pockets, with a fourth zipped valuables one on the right-hand side. They are a good size, but I did find that because of the fabric not stretching that much, they can be a little trickier than normal to access on the bike, especially if you are wearing full-finger gloves. It's not impossible, it just takes a little more effort than on a standard jersey. And at least nothing is going to fall out.
In the rain, water beading down your back is only going to end up in one place: your pockets. Galibier has thought about this, which is why the bottoms of the pockets are constructed of a firm mesh for drainage.
Across the tops of the pockets is a reflective band, and above that is a full reflective pattern and logo which increase visibility impressively in the dark while not looking out of place in the daytime.
The whole jersey not only works brilliantly, it's also manufactured to a very high standard too. The stitching runs uniformly throughout the garment and is proving very durable. I have many items from Galibier in my wardrobe, ranging from gloves and overshoes through to deep winter jackets, some of them many years old, and I've never had an issue with the overall quality.
I've got this far without mentioning it, but the Sentinel is very much along the same lines as the Castelli Gabba.
The Gabba feels ever so slightly lighter than the Galibier when you hold the two side by side, but I'm not really going to put that out there as a criticism as it's barely noticeable when you are wearing it. Performance-wise, I'd say there is very little in it.
Price-wise, though, the latest Gabba RoS short sleeve has an rrp of £175, compared to £66.25 for the Sentinel!
Another similarly styled jersey is the Lusso Repel Corsa V2, a top that I really liked and still wear to this day. When I reviewed it back in 2018 it was £129.99, but that has now dropped to £99.99, which puts it more in line with the Galibier, though it's still another £30 or so.
The Sentinel is a very good jersey. It works really well in a whole range of weather conditions and temperatures, which should see you get plenty of use out of it during the three cooler seasons. The fact that it can perform so well, combined with the excellent build quality, just makes the price look even more exceptional.
Brilliant all-weather performance and race-inspired fit that comes at an exceptional price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Sentinel Foul Weather Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says, "A VERSATILE CYCLING JERSEY TO KEEP YOU WARM WHEN TRAINING IN ALL WEATHERS.
'With only a light base layer, you can ride with comfort. A jersey that lets you click in to your pedals under threatening clouds, without a worry. The technical material will block fierce north winds and keep you warm in long races or longer days."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Light 9000/ 10000 Triple layer membrane (WP/VP) DWR treated
Windproof anti-stick zip.
At least 2 metres of technical fabric in each smooth.
Articulated fleece collar to gently wrap around the neck in every cycling position
Rear pockets, with 3M reflective trim to increase visibility.
3 high stretch rear pockets with Mesh drainage feature.
Silicone waist band to keep the jacket locked in place.
Double stitching throughout.
Galibier's sizing guide is spot on, but if you are on the upper edge of the sizing like me than definitely go up one.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Galibier recommends a 30 degree wash and following that I have had no issues with the top.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It keeps the elements out while offering plenty of breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pocket access is a little tricky with full gloves on.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It undercuts the similar Gabba by over £100 and is also cheaper than Lusso's offering by a fair margin.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are a couple of little niggles, like the lack of a zip garage and the access to the pockets, but they can't take away the from the awesome performance against the weather, the overall quality and the comfort. Taking the price into account too, it's exceptional.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!